Women's Cycling Race Forced To Pause After Leader Catches Up With Men

'The women were too fast or the men too slow'.

A women’s cycling race was forced to pause because the leader was catching up with the men’s race, proving once again women in sport are all kinds of awesome.

The women competing in the one-day cycling event – Omloop Het Nieuwsblad – in Belgium set off 10 minutes after the men on the same course, but organisers underestimated the speed of race leader Nicole Hanselmann.

The 27-year-old Swiss, from the Bigla Pro Cycling Team, had built up a strong lead, but was told to pull over at the side of the road to allow a larger gap between herself and the safety cars for the men’s race.

“An awkward moment happened and I almost saw the back of the men’s peloton... the other women and me were too fast or the men too slow,” Hanselmann joked on Instagram.

Dozens of people commented on Hanselmann’s post, with many criticising the race organisers for stopping the race. “Sexism in the early 21st century folks,” one person wrote. “A women still can’t be allowed to beat a man in professional sports.”

Despite being given a head start on her competitors when the women’s race restarted, Hanselmann said the break was enough to change the dynamics of the race, and she ended up finishing in 74th place.

“It was a bit sad for me because I was in a good mood and when the bunch sees you stopping, they just get a new motivation to catch you,” Hanselmann told Cyclingnews at the finish line.

“I think we stopped for five or seven minutes and then it just kills your chances.”

HuffPost UK has contacted the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad organisers for comment and will update this piece when we receive a response.